Are you sick of hearing everyone say, “before the pandemic?” It seems like everyone has a “before the pandemic” story that has changed the trajectory of their life in a significant way. I don’t want to be a giant cliche, but before the pandemic, I would have never thought that I’d be starting a fully remote job, moving across the country, and almost halfway done with grad school, but here I am.
I’ve lived in the Midwest almost my entire life. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, went to undergrad at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and spent a semester living in New York City interning at the Late Show with David Letterman. Once I graduated, I immediately moved home to live with my parents to try and figure out the first steps of my career and eventually moved to Chicago. Getting my first few jobs was incredibly daunting and confusing, and navigating what I wanted to do in life versus what I studied in college was overwhelming. I was a telecommunications production major at Ball State University, so once I graduated, I focused on making sure that video production had some role in my first few jobs. As I continued to grow and learn and figure out what made me happy, I continued pursuing careers that kept me in the Chicago area until now. My partner recently accepted a position in Eugene, Oregon, and by the end of April, we’ll be living there with our cat King Louie.
I’ve always wanted to eventually try living in a different state from where I grew up. Moving from your hometown might not be for everyone, but for me, moving away from home is an essential step for me to grow. Realizing how long it took for me to accomplish the dream of living out of state has made me that much more determined to make the most of my time in grad school. Some might think I’m insane to be getting my master’s degree on top of starting a new job and moving across the country, but I’m writing about this to tell you that if you want to go to grad school but have a ton of things in the way, you can still pursue that dream. I can’t say that I haven’t thought about giving up on grad school these past couple of months because I have. There have been days when I would much rather sleep in instead of waking up at dawn and doing homework. However, knowing that in just over a year, I will be graduating with my cohort and will have a master’s degree in something I’m passionate about is one of the things that’s helping to push me through the challenging days. My career goals have changed a handful of times since I graduated undergrad, but I’m finally at a place in my life where I feel confident in what I’m doing career-wise, and I know that getting a master’s will solidify that feeling. The pandemic has been challenging, but it has shined a bright light on what was missing in my life before it happened and has made me realize that I can’t wait anymore to pursue my dreams, and I’m looking forward to seeing where my life is a year from now.